About this playlist

Jazz has sprawled out in recent years, and made its presence felt widely, even becoming a hip commercial proposition with acts such as Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter. And then there’s the David Bowie effect. The fact Bowie’s final album, ‘Blackstar’, was made with Donny McCaslin’s New York jazz outfit certainly boosted the genre’s profile. Our playlist, then, represents the best jazz of the last couple of years.

It ranges stylistically from big names such as Norah Jones, Diana Krall and José James right through to determined modernists in the vein of Badbadnotgood, Snarky Puppy and Christine Tobin, with plenty of time for every other style, from the cabaret-flavoured songcraft of Madeleine Peyroux to the lo-fi free jazz moodiness of Bobby Kapp. The only universal qualifying factor is whether it deserves to be counted as one of the Top 50 jazz cuts of recent times…

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